Indiana University HOOSIERS, (3-2, 1-0 ) vs THE Michigan State Spartans (4-1, 1-0)
Series History: Sparty leads the overall series 42-15-2, though MSU apparantly couldn’t be bothered to give a damn until a spittoon was involved as IU held a commanding 3-0-1 mark prior to 1950 when the Old Brass Spittoon became the official trophy for this rivalry.
Last Meeting: IU stormed out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter before a shell shocked Spartan crew remembered to hand the ball off to Leveon Bell. After MSU scored a pair of touchdowns to bring the score within 3, IU rolled 10 more points to go into halftime. Michigan State emerged from halftime not allowing anything from the Hoosiers and stop me if you’ve heard this before, the Hoosiers gave away a 13 point lead en route to a 31-27 come from ahead defeat.
Last IU win: In 2006, IU rolled 46 big ones on the Michigan State defense, the most IU’s scored in the series so far, taking the Spittoon for a year with a 46-21 victory.
What did we learn last week? You’ll never go poor betting on a team that’s due to win. After 16 unsuccessful attempts, the Hoosiers scored practically at will in the 2nd half, Nate Sudfeld passed, Tevin Coleman and Stephen Houston ran, and lots of people caught as the Hoosiers rolled up 31 second half points which turned a dicey 13-7 halftime lead into a laughable 44-24 victory.
So this week, what are we seeing with Michigan State? Every team Mark Dantonio’s ever had has been built with defense and a tough running game. This year is no different. While this year’s team lacks a bellweather running back like Leveon Bell or Javon Ringer, I fully expect to see Sparty test IU’s defensive line over and over and over. Now that Connor Cook has settled in at quarterback, they may believe they can throw the ball, but really I’d simply expect a whole lot of running back off tackle for the Spartans.
Defensively, the Spartans have a stellar linebacking corps led by senior LB Max Bullough. The secondary is also air tight, Senior cornerback Darqueeze Dennard was named B1G Ten Defensive Player of the week.
And what about the Hoosiers, they did just beat Penn State you know; I think all too often, pre-game analysts tend to over complicate things. I could go on and on about 3rd down conversions, the need to loosen up the pass defense by rushing the ball, the need to just leave Nate Sudfeld in the game and not worry about it, but instead I’m going to break down the Hoosiers offense and defensive game plans as simply as I possibly can. Score Lots of Points. Suck Less on defense.
What you can plainly see here. Whenever IU both scores lots of points, and sucks less on defense, they come away victors. So the key for not only the Old Brass Spittoon Battle, but really for the rest of the season is to score lots of points and suck less on defense. Hopefully they can commit that to memory.
Prediction: Boy it’s awfully inviting isn’t it. Lots of talk about how this is the chance to really put the team over the edge, and realize the rewards of B1G Ten mediocrity. Well the glory days of mediocrity are simply not upon us just yet, but have faith. They will come and glorious they shall be. This week though, it’s another swift kick in the crotch for IU as they go down gallantly, but still go down 27-17.
What you’re still here? Read these people who are far smarter than I am and see what they have to say.